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Who is Coming from Vanuatu to New Zealand under the New Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Program?

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  • David McKenzie

    (World Bank, BREAD and IZA)

  • Pilar Garcia Martinez

    (World Bank)

  • L. Alan Winters

    (University of Sussex, CEPR, IZA)

Abstract

New Zealand’s new Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) program allows workers from the Pacific Islands to come to New Zealand for up to seven months to work in the horticulture and viticulture industries. One of the explicit objectives of the program is to encourage economic development in the Pacific. In this paper we report on the results of a baseline survey taken in Vanuatu, which allows us to examine who wants to participate in the program, and who is selected amongst those interested. We find the main participants are males in their late 20s to early 40s, most of whom are married and have children. Most workers are subsistence farmers in Vanuatu and have not completed more than 10 years of schooling. Such workers would be unlikely to be accepted under existing migration channels. Nevertheless, we find RSE workers from Vanuatu to come from wealthier households, and have better English literacy and health than individuals not applying for the program. Lack of knowledge about the policy and the costs of applying appear to be the main barriers preventing poorer individuals applying.

Suggested Citation

  • David McKenzie & Pilar Garcia Martinez & L. Alan Winters, 2008. "Who is Coming from Vanuatu to New Zealand under the New Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Program?," Working Papers in Economics 08/09, University of Waikato.
  • Handle: RePEc:wai:econwp:08/09
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Curtain & Matthew Dornan & Stephen Howes & Henry Sherrell, 2018. "Pacific seasonal workers: Learning from the contrasting temporary migration outcomes in Australian and New Zealand horticulture," Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(3), pages 462-480, September.
    2. John Gibson & David McKenzie & Halahingano Rohorua, 2014. "Development Impacts of Seasonal and Temporary Migration: A Review of Evidence from the Pacific and Southeast Asia," Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 18-32, January.
    3. John Gibson & David McKenzie & Halahingano Rohorua, 2008. "How Pro-Poor is the Selection of Seasonal Migrant Workers from Tonga Under New Zealand's Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Program?," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0807, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    4. John Gibson & David Mckenzie, 2010. "The Development Impact of a Best Practice Seasonal Worker Policy: New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Scheme," Working Papers in Economics 10/08, University of Waikato.
    5. John Gibson & David McKenzie, 2014. "The Development Impact of a Best Practice Seasonal Worker Policy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(2), pages 229-243, May.
    6. Michael Rosholm & Marianne Røed & Pål Schøne, 2013. "Are new work practices and new technologies biased against immigrant workers?," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 34(8), pages 995-1014, November.
    7. John Gibson & David McKenzie, 2014. "Development through seasonal worker programs: the case of New Zealand’s RSE program," Chapters, in: Robert E.B. Lucas (ed.), International Handbook on Migration and Economic Development, chapter 7, pages 186-210, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David & Rohorua, Halahingano, 2008. "How pro-poor is the selection of seasonal migrant workers from Tonga under New Zealand's recognized seasonal employer program ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4698, The World Bank.
    9. Edmundo Murrugarra & Jennica Larrison & Marcin Sasin, 2011. "Migration and Poverty : Toward Better Opportunities for the Poor," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 2535, December.
    10. World Bank, 2014. "Well-being from Work in the Pacific Island Countries," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 18642, December.
    11. John Gibson & David McKenzie, 2008. "Preliminary Impacts of a New Seasonal Work Program on Rural Household Incomes in the Pacific," Working Papers in Economics 08/18, University of Waikato.
    12. John Gibson & David Mckenzie, 2011. "Australia's Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme (PSWPS): Development Impacts in the First Two Years," Working Papers in Economics 11/09, University of Waikato.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    development; seasonal migration; selectivity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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